LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Virginia softball team (9-7) fell to Liberty (9-6) by a score of 6-2 on Tuesday night (March 1) in a mid-week matchup at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Liberty struck in the first inning, opening the game with three straight hits on the way to a two-run inning. Virginia got the final out when Arizona Ritchie made a diving stop on a single to the right side. The first run came home, but Ritchie made the throw home and Boggs tagged out the trailing runner to end the inning.
The Cavaliers tied things up with runs in the second and third after loading the bases in both innings. Ritchie delivered the RBI single in the second to get the Cavaliers on the board before Gabby Baylog delivered the RBI in the third to tie the game.
Liberty moved back in front in the fourth when Kara Canetto scored on a wild pitch after a leadoff triple to spark a three-run inning for the home team. The Flames then added a run in the fifth inning to take the 6-2 lead.
Virginia would load the bases with two outs in the seventh – the third time in the game to load the bases – but Liberty escaped the jam to secure the win.
Mikayla Houge (5-2) took the loss in relief, allowing three runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in her 3.0 innings of work.
Megan Johnson (2-0) picked up the relief win for Liberty, allowing one unearned run on five hits in her 5.1 innings of work. Karlie Keeny picked up the save, working the final out after entering with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• Morgan Murphy made her first appearance of the season, starting the game in the circle for the Hoos.
• Gabby Baylog notched her first RBI of the year in the third inning, tying the game at the time.
• Madi Harris has now worked 6.0 consecutive scoreless innings in relief with her 1.1 IP on Tuesday night.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“We put ourselves in some really good positions, but then we took ourselves out of some of those positions. We’re playing aggressively, which I love, but we need to make some better decisions in key moments. We’re putting ourselves in the right positions and we’re a swing away here or there. There are a lot of positives, and we were in the game – the score doesn’t tell the whole story – but we have to execute in those key moments. If we keep putting ourselves in those positions, we will come through. I can’t wait to get to Knoxville this weekend and challenge ourselves against some really good teams.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
The Cavaliers continue to play on the road this weekend at the Tennessee Invitational. Virginia will open the weekend with two games on Friday (March 4), taking on Dartmouth at 12:30 p.m. before taking on No. 18 Tennessee at 5:30 p.m.